The migration crisis registered in 2021 on the border between Belarus and Poland led to an increase in asylum applications in the country, where around 7,700 applications were registered last year, according to the Polish immigration authorities.
“The internal situation in Belarus, the evacuation of Afghan auxiliaries from the Polish army and diplomatic missions as well as the migration of Iraqi citizens through Belarus have caused a strong migration effect,” said a report by the authorities.
Almost 2,300 of these applications were submitted by Belarusian citizens, around 1,800 by Afghan citizens, 1,400 by Iraqis, around a thousand by Russians and another 260 by Ukrainians.
According to the Sputnik news agency, around 50 percent of asylum seekers are between 18 and 40 years old, while minors make up 32 percent.
In 2020, the immigration authorities found that around 4,700 asylum applications were examined, of which 2,155 were approved and a further 1,460 were rejected. Most were Russian and Iraqi nationals.
In order for the authorities to be able to grant asylum, the applicant must prove that he is being persecuted and that his life is in danger in his territory. The processing time for the application is around six months.
Thousands of migrants, mostly from Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, have tried to cross the border into the EU since last year. The Polish authorities have declared a state of emergency in the border areas with Belarus and have sent the army.